I'm creating a logo for a tech/IT startup have received absolute instructions on what the client would like to see.

It should be:
1. B&W (and shades of grey - not 50 though)
2. Minimal almost icon-like
3. Have a strong presence
4. Sharp (literally, with pointy corners, catholic edges & everything)
5. Plus points if the design uses the letters B or Z as it's base
6. Further plus points if it is an abstract design(see Sample 3)

Samples of what would be approved(priority-wise): This Electric B logo with its tilt and almost piercing intensity that offsets the curves from the 'B' I'm told this has a strong presence. Modern vibes maybe? Motion with sharp edges forming 'B'
It should not(priority-wise):
1. Have curves or soft vibes
2. Have details; It must be easily distinguishable at 72*72px (can double as a favicon)

A sample of what would never be approved: It feels casual, weak and lazy. The curves don't help either.

Now I've done some thinking and reading and here's what I have: 1. A triangle as a base would be both strong and (hella) sharp (think Mitsubishi) 2. A minor black to dark grey gradient could provide character. Although I do understand the appeal of flat colours in both icons and a strong presence. 3. A powerful negative space abstract like the Unity engine logo.


Whelp, that's all I have. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. Just writing this has given me some ideas so its a good start at least. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking for free work. What if your client finds out you posted their briefing in search for help? – Lucian Jan 3 '19 at 10:30
  • They know and they don't mind. Also, not asking for any work or physical inputs rather if the collective experience of the community has encountered something similar like pre-existing brands I'm unaware of or art styles that complement my endeavour. Because if we can't benefit from each other's wisdom and collective experience then what's the point. I'm new so if you could help me figure how what the right phrasing would be, that'd be very helpful? – Prakhar Sharma Jan 3 '19 at 10:51
  • 1
    I'm sorry, what's the question? All I can garner is you want logo ideation. That's not what the site's about. You've provided a briefing for a creative project and not asked any questions beyond "what would you create" (although very ambiguously). While at the same time not providing tangent information such as a company name, initials, mascot, service, product, or anything to actually build ideation upon. – Scott Jan 3 '19 at 14:02
  • 1
    "Catholic edges" – the kind of edges you feel guilty using? or the kind of edges that take you into the rectory and do bad things to you? – GoofyMonkey Jan 3 '19 at 20:09
  • 1
    @GoofyMonkey .. the kind of edges which transfer if you do things wrong. – Scott Jan 3 '19 at 22:36

What your logo lacks is a good concept base, I think by defining this you will achieve a good final result.

At the moment, the only thing regarding concept is strong presence, the rest are purely formal aspects:

  • B & W (and shades of gray - not 50 though)
  • Minimal almost icon-like
  • Sharp (literally, with pointy corners, catholic edges & everything)
  • Plus points if the design uses the letters B or Z as it's base
  • Further plus points if it is an abstract design (see Sample 3)
  • It should not have curves
  • It should not have details

With SEVEN formal premises it seems that your client needs a geometrical shape rather than a logo.


I made a Google search using sharp minimal corners abstract black and white strong icon logo and any of the results fits what your client requires.

So the question is: why does a client look for a graphic designer when putting all the formal words wanted gives a logo result in a simple Google search?

The answer: because he needs something UNIQUE. And where is that uniqueness? This is the essence of a graphic designer, to find a concept that fits some formal requirements and not vice versa, combine some shapes and make them look a company brand (such the process you are doing).

A good exercise is to question these formal precepts:

  • It must be Sharp, literally, with pointy corners

Why? Is it related to energy? Is the energy angled? why? by the stereotyped image we have of lightning? Because it's an image that remains in our collective unconscious about electricity? Does the company have anything to do with electricity?

Clients are not graphic designers, usually, and they use to have only ideas about formal aspects, how they want their logo to look. They have the conceptual part too, but they don't know how to express it in words. The job of a good designer involves a lot of psychology, self-questioning about the formal premises the client demands helps to find that concept stuck in their brain. If the designer is able to define each of these formal elements in concepts, the future logo is a guaranteed sale.

As seen in your sketches you are very good at creating and optimizing shapes, knowing you have this capacity, perhaps you should leave the formal part for a while, get a pencil and a paper and develop a good conceptual starting point. I would recommend a minimum of five points, to have five concepts and five formal elements.

This will be a great help, not only to get a very good logo but also to sell it to your client as the unique and relevant logo for their company.

By the way, it would be good to see your question again with the result: five concepts, five formal elements and the logo, but I'm sure you will not need this.

  • 1
    That makes a lot of sense. I'll definitely try the five concepts thought. My usual process involves picking accepted visual cues and mutating them into something that's viable while adding more cues as I go. I think you may be right about them wanting a geometric shape as well. Hmm let's see if that goes through. Thanks for your input, you were very helpful. – Prakhar Sharma Jan 3 '19 at 11:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.